The Great Gatsby (1926)

Drama | 8 November 1926

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HISTORY

F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 novel has been the basis of several films and television programs. For information on the other versions, please consult the entry for the 1949 Paramount release of The Great Gatsby, directed by Elliott Nugent and starring Alan Ladd and Betty Field.
       In Dec 1925, a stage adaptation of The Great Gatsby was announced in a Var article, which noted that Owen Davis was writing the play, to be produced by William A. Brady. Film rights negotiations on Fitzgerald’s novel had been halted by the stage rights deal, which made it impossible for a film version to be released before the stage play debuted. Several months later, items the 29 Apr 1926 and 11 May 1926 issues of Film Daily announced that Henry Ginsberg had acquired screen rights to Owen Davis’s stage adaptation, and Famous Players-Lasky Corp. was expected to come on board.
       Filming was scheduled to commence 1 Jun 1926, according to the 23 May 1926 Film Daily. The 30 May 1926 issue announced the casting of Warner Baxter as “Jay Gatsby,” and named Marie Halvey as continuity clerk. On 20 Jun 1926, Film Daily confirmed that production was in full swing at Famous Players Studios in the Astoria neighborhood of Queens, NY, on Sixth and Pierce Aves. Weeks later, the 12 Jul 1926 Film Daily reported that filming would be finished on 19 Jul 1926, although it may have continued through late July. The 7 Aug 1926 Exhibitors Herald stated that, during production, tennis professional George Alcorn had been hired to stage tennis scenes. ...

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F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 novel has been the basis of several films and television programs. For information on the other versions, please consult the entry for the 1949 Paramount release of The Great Gatsby, directed by Elliott Nugent and starring Alan Ladd and Betty Field.
       In Dec 1925, a stage adaptation of The Great Gatsby was announced in a Var article, which noted that Owen Davis was writing the play, to be produced by William A. Brady. Film rights negotiations on Fitzgerald’s novel had been halted by the stage rights deal, which made it impossible for a film version to be released before the stage play debuted. Several months later, items the 29 Apr 1926 and 11 May 1926 issues of Film Daily announced that Henry Ginsberg had acquired screen rights to Owen Davis’s stage adaptation, and Famous Players-Lasky Corp. was expected to come on board.
       Filming was scheduled to commence 1 Jun 1926, according to the 23 May 1926 Film Daily. The 30 May 1926 issue announced the casting of Warner Baxter as “Jay Gatsby,” and named Marie Halvey as continuity clerk. On 20 Jun 1926, Film Daily confirmed that production was in full swing at Famous Players Studios in the Astoria neighborhood of Queens, NY, on Sixth and Pierce Aves. Weeks later, the 12 Jul 1926 Film Daily reported that filming would be finished on 19 Jul 1926, although it may have continued through late July. The 7 Aug 1926 Exhibitors Herald stated that, during production, tennis professional George Alcorn had been hired to stage tennis scenes.
       Various publicity items published around the time of filming made much ado about actress Lois Wilson bobbing her hair for the role of “Daisy Buchanan.” Although bobbed hair was very popular at the time, the actress had formerly vowed not to cut her hair short, as noted in the Aug 1926 Motion Picture Classic.
       Theatrical release occurred on 8 Nov 1926. A review in the 28 Nov 1926 Film Daily called the picture “too long for the amount of story” but praised the “good cast and production.” In an interview with Warner Baxter published in the May 1927 Motion Picture, Baxter claimed that director Herbert Brenon had resigned from the picture after viewing the final cut.
       Items in the 29 Jun 1926 and 9 Jul 1926 Film Daily, 3 Jul 1926 Motion Picture News, and Jan 1927 Picture-Play listed the following as cast members: Ruby Blaine; Felix Krembs; Jane Jennings, in the role of Jay Gatsby’s mother; and Nancy Kelley, in the role of Daisy Buchanan’s child.
       The National Film Preservation Board (NFPB) included this film on its list of Lost U.S. Silent Feature Films as of October 2019.

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Chicago Tribune
10 Nov 1926
p. 35
Exhibitors Herald
10 Jul 1926
p. 43
Exhibitors Herald
31 Jul 1926
p. 38
Exhibitors Herald
7 Aug 1926
p. 43
Exhibitors Herald
14 Aug 1926
p. 58
Exhibitors Herald
27 Nov 1926
p. 102
Film Daily
29 Apr 1926
p. 2
Film Daily
11 May 1926
---
Film Daily
23 May 1926
p. 27
Film Daily
30 May 1926
p. 40
Film Daily
20 Jun 1926
p. 12
Film Daily
29 Jun 1926
p. 2, 6
Film Daily
9 Jul 1926
p. 7
Film Daily
12 Jul 1926
p. 7
Film Daily
1 Aug 1926
---
Film Daily
31 Oct 1926
---
Film Daily
15 Nov 1926
p. 3
Film Daily
28 Nov 1926
p. 13
Fox Folks
Sep 1926
p. 4
Los Angeles Times
28 Nov 1926
---
Miami Herald [Miami, FL]
8 Nov 1926
p. 8
Motion Picture
Aug 1926
p. 90
Motion Picture
Sep 1926
p. 8
Motion Picture
May 1927
p. 108
Motion Picture Classic
Aug 1926
p. 6
Motion Picture News
8 May 1926
p. 2185
Motion Picture News
26 Jun 1926
p. 2958
Motion Picture News
3 Jul 1926
p. 42
Motion Picture News
10 Jul 1926
p. 144
Motion Picture News
24 Jul 1926
p. 311
Motion Picture News
31 Jul 1926
p. 404
Motion Picture News
11 Dec 1926
---
Moving Picture World
20 Feb 1926
p. 699
Moving Picture World
16 Oct 1926
p. 443
New York Times
22 Nov 1926
p. 28
Photoplay
Dec 1926
p. 57
Picture-Play
Oct 1926
p. 94
Picture-Play
Nov 1926
p. 43
Picture-Play
Jan 1927
pp. 72-73
Variety
2 Dec 1925
p. 55
Variety
27 Oct 1926
p. 40
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
FILM EDITOR
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (New York, 1925), and the play of the same name by Owen Davis (2 Feb 1926).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHORS
DETAILS
Release Date:
8 November 1926
Production Date:
early or mid Jun--Jul 1926
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Famous Players-Lasky Corp.
9 November 1926
LP23315
Famous Players-Lasky Corp.
14 December 1926
LP23428
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in feet):
7,296
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

On a summer night in Louisville, in 1917, Jay Gatsby, a young Army officer, falls in love with Daisy Fay, a society belle. Before leaving for the war, Gatsby swears that he will raise himself to her social station, and they vow their undying love. Nine years later, Gatsby, through mysterious association with a Charles Wolf, has come to possess great wealth and a Long Island estate, while Daisy, swayed by parental authority, has married Tom Buchanan, a dissolute blueblood, who also maintains an affair with Myrtle Wilson, a garage owner's wife. At a party given by Gatsby, Daisy declares that she still cares for him. Later, Tom charges Gatsby with making love to his wife and with bootlegging. Daisy prepares to leave with Gatsby in his roadster. Meanwhile, Wilson upbraids his wife for her infidelity; and dashing onto the road, Myrtle is struck down by Gatsby's car. Although Daisy was driving, Gatsby confesses responsibility to the police. Friendless and alone, Gatsby roams through his garden and is shot by the vengeful ...

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On a summer night in Louisville, in 1917, Jay Gatsby, a young Army officer, falls in love with Daisy Fay, a society belle. Before leaving for the war, Gatsby swears that he will raise himself to her social station, and they vow their undying love. Nine years later, Gatsby, through mysterious association with a Charles Wolf, has come to possess great wealth and a Long Island estate, while Daisy, swayed by parental authority, has married Tom Buchanan, a dissolute blueblood, who also maintains an affair with Myrtle Wilson, a garage owner's wife. At a party given by Gatsby, Daisy declares that she still cares for him. Later, Tom charges Gatsby with making love to his wife and with bootlegging. Daisy prepares to leave with Gatsby in his roadster. Meanwhile, Wilson upbraids his wife for her infidelity; and dashing onto the road, Myrtle is struck down by Gatsby's car. Although Daisy was driving, Gatsby confesses responsibility to the police. Friendless and alone, Gatsby roams through his garden and is shot by the vengeful Wilson.

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Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.